Wildcats Edged By Lehigh 3-2 in Liberty Bell Classic
March 25, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Junior Joe Cotter (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) hit his second home run of the year and scored both of his team's runs but Villanova (7-13) was defeated by Lehigh (12-11), 3-2, on Tuesday afternoon in the first round of the Liberty Bell Classic at Goodman Field.
With the Wildcats down 2-0, Cotter led off the top of the fifth inning with a double and Villanova eventually loaded the bases with none out on a walk to junior Wesley Borden (State College, Pa.) and an infield hit by sophomore Justin Bencsko (Pompton Plains, N.J.).
Cotter scored and the other two runners moved up on a wild pitch with still no outs, but the Wildcats could manage nothing else in the inning as the top three spots in the lineup were retired in order by Mountain Hawk starter Rob Russell to end the threat.
Lehigh wound up getting the run back in the bottom of the firth when Brendan McGaheran doubled with one out and scored on a groundball out. The Mountain Hawks had gone ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the third inning when Andrew Russell and Logan Marshall singled after there were two out and nobody on. Matt Reitz then singled to drive in both runners for the first runs of the game.
Cotter led off the ninth inning with a home run off Kevin Mihalik and junior Matt McFolling (Chicago, Ill.) doubled with one out. However, the Lehigh reliever retired the next two batters to finish off a three-inning save and eliminate Villanova in the first round of the Liberty Bell Classic for the second straight year.
Junior Ryan Shockley (Seaford, Del.) and senior Ryan Wendler (Conshohocken, Pa.) combined to pitch 3 2/3 scoreless innings for the Wildcats in relief of redshirt freshman Chris Pack (Hinsdale, Ill.). Pack allowed seven hits and was charged with three runs in 4 1/3 innings, during which he struck out one and walked two. Shockley pitched two scoreless innings and Wendler recorded five outs.
Junior Joe Rosati (Havertown, Pa.) had two hits and a stolen base for Villanova to join Cotter as the only Wildcats with multi-hit games on the day.
Andrew Russell went 4-for-4 and McGaheran had two hits for the Mountain Hawks. Rob Russell earned his third win of the season in a six-inning start, allowing one run on four hits with five walks and six strikeouts.
Villanova plays a conference series at Connecticut this weekend, with games scheduled for Friday at 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at Noon.